Nordic Track Book Club Review: Blog!

David Kline and Dan Burstein are the authors of Blog!: How the Newest Media Revolution is Changing Politics, Business, and Culture. They were more like editors, since the book was a collection of interviews of blogging inflentials in politics, business and media. If you skip past the politics section you’ll enjoy the book more, I think.  I know I would have.  2.5 out of 5 [NordicTrack] Stars.

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p.103 Indeed the only way most companies know if their customers are truly being served with needed products and services is after the fact, when they sum up quarterly and annual sales figures.  Blogging, however, breaks down barriers between customers and the makers of the products they buy.

p.105 If you fudge or lie on a blog you are biting the karmic weenie.  The negative reaction will be so great, that whatever your intention was, it will be overwhelmed and crushed like a bug.  You are fighting with very powerful forces because it’s real peoples’ opinions.  And therein lies the fundamental power of blogs that businesses must learn to appreciate and understand. They transform the anonymous mass called consumers into flesh and blood people who have real opinions and real feelings that can only be ignored or manipulated at the company’s peril.

The future of brands is going to be interaction, not commodity.  A brand won’t be something you buy so much as something you participate in. A good solid successful brand will in effect be a two-way conversation. In part, that’s because blogging, like branding, is also about passion.  Wherever people are passionate about something, that’s where you’ll find bloggers discussing the ins and outs, their likes and dislikes of the subject at hand.

Bloggers are an incredibly influential consumer segment.  These people are huge networkers.  They get the word out quickly on products they like and don’t like.  And all of that user generated commentary on blogs gets indexed on search engines which makes it easily accessible to potential customers doing research on a company or its products. Even a comment on an obscure blog can generate positive or negative buzz and can impact a company’s reputation in unexpected ways. If your company is releasing a new product or service, no formal marketing method meant to increase its exposure can match the power of people talking to each other.

p.110 For many companies the greatest benefits from blogging may well come before they even decide what products or services to build.  In other words, instead of companies simply trying to tell customers what to buy, why not let customers tell them what to build?

Even when traditional market research tells you what customers want, it usually doesn’t tell you why they want it.

p.118 Most of the time when someone leaves a company, their email is simply wiped out, recording everything they did and everyone they met.  That information is lost.

Scoble, “to me a good blog has two things, it’s passionate and it’s authoritative.”

p.130 The five factors that made blogging hot were ease of publishing, discoverability with tagging, cross-site conversations, permalinking to individual posts, and syndication.

p.132 Scoble’s Corporate Weblog Manifesto.  1) Tell the truth always, 2) Post fast on good news or bad, 3) Use a human voice…10) If Doc Searls says it or writes it, believe it, live it. Enough said.

p.164 Blogging is all about personal voice, and because of that it is much more akin to music or book publishing than it is to the newspaper or magazine business.  Blogging is highly personal on both sides of the equation.  It’s personal because it’s the individual voice of the blogger that attracts an audience, just like a band does.  They pay attention to you because of your distinctive voice.

The core thing to understand about blogs, at least from a business or marketing point of view, is that they develop these extraordinarily valuable and compact set of influencers who pay attention to them.

p.173 To my mind, anything that’s got to do with treating the web not as a static space like a shopping mall but rather as a real-time enabler of conversations is going to be something that we’re interested in.  Some people call it the social web, others call it the semantic web, the ability to apply meaning and context to our online interactions.  But whatever label you use, we’re looking at ways we can invest in this arena.

With blogs some eyeballs are more equal than other eyeballs, to borrow an old phrase.  If I’m in the PC business and I can reach the top 100 influencers of PC buying habits, what’s that worth?  A lot. A whole lot.

p.177 I’m talking about lending more context and more meaning to the information we seek and to the interactions and transactions we have online.

p.336 The most important thing to understand about blogging today is that it’s a transitional form. Especially for the younger generation, the place where blogging can get really interesting is not when everyone is a writer, but when everyone is a video or multimedia producer.

 

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Article written by

A long time developer, I was an early adopter of Linux in the mid-90's for a few years until I entered corporate environments and worked with Microsoft technologies like ASP, then .NET. In 2008 I released Sueetie, an Online Community Platform built in .NET. In late 2012 I returned to my Linux roots and locked in on Java development. Much of my work is available on GitHub.